Austrian monster Josef Fritzl — who fathered seven children with his daughter while keeping her locked up as a sex slave for 24 years — could soon be released after being deemed to be no longer a threat to the public, according to reports.
Fritzl, now 88, received a life sentence in 2009 for the incest, rape, coercion, false imprisonment and enslavement of daughter Elisabeth in the cellar of his home in Amstetten — as well as negligent homicide for the death of one of seven children she gave birth to.
Under the terms of his sentence, Fritzl will be eligible for parole this year – and his release appears likely after a psychiatric report determined that he is “no longer dangerous,” the UK’s Metro reported.
“I am already in the process of obtaining a conditional discharge for him,” Fritzl’s lawyer Astrid Wagner told local news outlet Kronen Zeitung.
“If the application is approved, which I assume will be the case, I would like to ensure that he gets a place in a home for frail people,” he said, according to the Mirror.
It was not immediately clear when the final decision will be made.
Heidi Kastner, a forensic psychiatric expert from Linz University, spent a year preparing the report concluding that the country’s most notorious inmate no longer poses a public threat.
She said he could be transferred through the normal prison system at the Krems-Stein jail as part of a first step toward being released – most likely to a nursing home to live out his final years.
Fritzl appears to be confused, regularly talks to a TV, believes he is a pop star and discusses visits from family members that never happened, the reports said, citing local media.
He has also reportedly experienced multiple falls behind bars and needs a walker.
Fritzl’s crimes were first discovered in April 2008 after he took one of the children born to Elisabeth to a hospital due to a life-threatening illness.
Of the seven kids born from the repeated abuse of his daughter between the ages of 18 and 42, three remained in captivity with her and one died shortly after birth.
The others were raised by Fritzl and his wife, Rosemarie, after he claimed they had appeared on their doorstep.
Elisabeth, who was given a new name after the trial, now lives with her six surviving children in an undisclosed community referred to as “Village X” in the Austrian countryside, the Mirror reported.
The children — now between the ages of 17 and 31 — sleep in rooms with doors always kept open after undergoing weekly therapy sessions to help them overcome the trauma in the dungeon.
In 2009, a year after she escaped captivity, Elisabeth found love with Thomas Wagner, a bodyguard 23 years her junior who’d been assigned to protect her, according to the outlet.
“This is vivid proof of love being the strongest force in the world,” said one of her psychiatrists.
“With the approval of her doctors she has ceased psychiatric therapies while she gets on with her life – learning to drive, helping her children with their homework, making friends with people in her locality,” the expert said.
“She lost the best years of her life in that cellar. She is determined that every day remaining to her will be filled with activity,” the psychiatrist added.